Georgia Barrett was your average teenager until her summer was abruptly interrupted with the life altering diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease (8/13/2010). After spending over 40 days in the hospital, missing the first two months of school and having to wear a mask because her immune system was weakened, Georgia has taken a stand to not let Crohn’s disease destroy her life.
“She has found her voice through CCFA (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America) and is taking her experience, good and bad, to positively impact the lives of other people with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Her relationships with her peers, her family and many people she would have never known are benefiting from the strength and growth that she has found,” said her grandparents Dick and Beth Barrett.
During the 40 days Georgia was in the hospital 30 of those days she was not allowed to eat. She had a picc line which was the only source of nutrition; she had 7 blood transfusions, collapsed veins and puffy cheeks from the steroids. As for any teenager, this was a very difficult time trying to understand the diagnosis and the lifestyle change associated with it. Since being released from the hospital, Georgia still has to go back every 6 weeks for her infusion treatment.
“I take her hand and reassure her this disease will not define her. In our home the motto is “no stinkin’ thinkin’”. I have no doubt that she was chosen to be a voice for this disease and greatness will come from her own personal experience. She is my hero and my strength,” says her mom Mimi Gentile.
Georgia, her family, and friends will be fundraising and walking in the Take Steps Be Heard Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis on Saturday May 19, 2012 at Waterfront Park’s Big Four Lawn. Georgia will be Louisville’s Honored Hero for the walk.
“We are so grateful for Georgia’s support and willingness to step up and be the face of Crohn’s for our walk this year. We want the community and the younger generations suffering with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) to know there are others out there that understand exactly what you are going through. There is nothing better than knowing someone understands. For that, the Kentucky Chapter is so happy to be working with Georgia,” Community Development Manager, Jenny Silberisen stated.
The walkers raising funds in honor of Georgia have been given all the necessary fundraising tools to raise critical research dollars for these diseases, including a free customizable Web page for fundraising support, fundraising advice and assistance, and banners for social networking sites like Facebook.
For more information about becoming involved in Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis, visit www.cctakesteps.org/
About Take Steps
At over 100 Walk sites across the country, thousands of people will gather this spring and summer to join the fight against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Together we’ll raise money for crucial research and raise awareness of these painful and unpredictable digestive diseases that afflict millions of people. After only two years, CCFA’s Take Steps Walk has raised over $13 million for research and patient service programs. Our goal is even higher in 2010. We’re committed to help transform the lives of those impacted by these diseases to one of a brighter future based on well-funded, cutting-edge scientific research. Join us now -- register today and take a step toward a future free from Crohn’s and colitis!
About Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere from the mouth to the anus, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.
About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, and more than 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends goes to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance (give.org) and the American Institute of Philanthropy (charitywatch.org)